Registered Israeli patent attorney
I invite you to pull up a chair, get comfortable, and spend a few minutes gaining insights and familiarity with basic facts about the Israeli IP arena. This will include helpful tips and practical tools on how to select the best Israeli Patent Attorney in Israel for you. Three practical tools to help you find a GOOD patent attorney in Israel, are disclosed at the end of this post.
If you belong to a group of firms that always pick one of the two big firms in each country regardless of the quality of service provided, you are welcome to now click back and devote your time to another article.
Foreign associates usually try to find an Israeli law firm that is recommended for its good patent attorneys. Yet it is also important to find a firm known for its reasonable fees. This task is not easy, specifically for small to medium size foreign law firms which don’t file many patent applications in Israel each year.
Until 15 years ago, the Intellectual Property (IP) arena in Israel was a small pond with less than 200 patent attorneys. There were three or four big IP firms and a handful of commercial law firms with a small IP department. Back then, attorneys at law did not handle filing and prosecution of patent applications unless they had a patent attorney in the office.
Nowadays, many small IP firms have popped up like mushrooms after the rain. In addition, law firms handle patent filing & prosecution despite not having a full-time, bona fide employee with patent attorney certification. Therefore, to an outsider it may seem that there are a lot of options available aside from the big firms. However, the sad truth is that there are too many inexperienced people trusted with the handling of patent prosecution.
Most Israeli patent attorneys are silent with respect to their success rate, efficiency ratio and number of errors. Moreover, the Israeli Patent Office does not provide any statistics regarding Israeli practitioners, not even data regarding malfunctions or crucial errors made during patent prosecution.
Of course, most of the information is open to the public (in Hebrew), however no one has compiled the data in a user-friendly interface for public use.
Dirty laundry is washed at home, always.
It seems that less than 10% of active patent attorneys dare to ask the really important questions:
How do I select a patent attorney in Israel who is skilled in the technology of the invention of my client?
How do I select an experienced Israeli patent attorney who will handle filings, prosecution & special requests properly and who is professional, fast and service-oriented?
Unfortunately, in Israel, the above traditional methods mostly lead to selection of an expensive service provider, but not necessarily to one with a better success rate or the desired expertise.
A large law firm in your home country will probably choose to work with a large law firm in Israel rather than a small or medium sized one. Until recently (November 2020) there was only one large Israeli IP firm: Reinhold Cohn. The filing statistics during 2019, in the chart, depict the complete picture:
The remaining IP firms are much smaller.
The fact that only one firm controls about 50% of the incoming patent applications may cause conflicts of interest that do not align with your client’s preferences and budgetary constraints.
You may think that professional associations serve their members and that therefore these groups will have an interest in helping their patent attorneys get in touch with potential clients. But, in Israel, there is only one professional association for patent attorneys: the Israeli Patent Attorney Association (IPAA). This association is fully controlled by the three largest patent attorney firms in Israel. This allows the bigger firms to dictate the agenda which is biased to protect their interests. As stated above, a recommendation for a large firm will not always suit your needs or your client’s preference and budgetary limitations.
What about professional guides such as the BDI Code, Dun’s 100?
Unfortunately, such ranking of the firms is limited to the number of attorneys and lacks reference to actual activity in the IP arena. Many of the individual patent attorneys are listed in several firms. There is no statistic data regarding success rates or efficiency of prosecution of the law firms.
Google – as you may be aware, everybody uses google marketing tools to promote websites. If you google “Israeli patent attorney” or “patent attorney Israel”, the first page results are ads promoted by large advertising accounts spending large amounts of money. After the ads, you will discover the websites of the larger patent attorney firms that include content articulated by skilled SEO professionals in order to promote the firms on Google.
Again, you end up with a large firm.
Suggested selection criteria:
You may also use Google to find publications by patent attorneys in Israel, on the topic you’re researching. Reading these publications and visiting websites of Israeli patent attorneys may provide you with clues that will help you decide which Israeli patent attorney to choose.
If you end up with a law firm with attorney at law certification, you are strongly advised to demand a certified patent attorney and verify that their technical background matches your needs. Are they adequately skilled at the technology of the invention?
A footnote – further reading about the difference between the titles people use in Israel to describe their skills can be found in the post Patent Attorney or Patent Lawyer.